DISCLAIMER: I think we all know I don't own any of these characters; I'm just taking them out for a joy ride. They belong to the folks at MGM, Double Secret, Gekko, Showtime, SciFi Channel … so on and so forth. Please don't sue; just ask nicely and I'll stop stealing them <g>. Honest.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This seemed like a nice, silly little piece to lighten the stress of the holiday season. Hope you enjoy. Oh … and if you're a Sublime fan, I really didn't mean any disrespect to the band … I just don't see Janet liking them any better than I do <g>.
SPOILERS: Excessively minor ones for Singularity and Emancipation.
SEASON: We'll say it's season four. For no reason at all.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Thanksgiving Vignette
By ocean gazer


"SAM!! You've ruined EVERYTHING!!"

The protesting voice rang out shrill and sharp, and Samantha Carter figuratively jumped out of her skin at the sound of it. She'd been lost in thought and not expecting an attack – even of the verbal variety. Surprised, her fingers turned to jelly and she promptly dropped the bag of cranberries she'd been holding. And – of course – she'd just opened the bag, so the little frozen berries jumped out of the constraints of the plastic to roll merrily across the kitchen floor. Truly, it was definitive evidence that the universe has a twisted sense of humor.

Sam took a deep breath, firmly ordering her heart rate to drop back down to something vaguely approaching normal. Completely confused, she looked over to the owner of the voice – a distinctly un-amused Cassandra. Storm clouds were definitely drifting across the girl's face. And Carter didn't have the foggiest idea what she could possibly have done to invoke the girl's wrath.

"What's wrong, Cass?" she asked, almost wincing at the helplessness all too evident in her own tone.

The teenager was nothing if not dramatic. Oddly enough, it seemed to be a nearly universal age trait – one of the most obvious and un-provable proofs that life forms throughout the galaxy had some very basic things in common. Cassandra nearly snorted, so great was her indignation. "You've totally ruined Thanksgiving!"

Nonplussed by such a serious accusation, Sam stared down at the cranberry covered floor, frowned, and then looked back up into angry eyes. Obviously forgetting that the initial outburst was the reason that there were tiny frozen berries all over the place, Sam offered, "I'm sorry, Cassie." She gestured obliquely at the mess. "It was just an accident."

Cassie rolled her eyes, set her hands on her hips, and assumed her best lecture stance. She actually looked like a responsible adult reprimanding a miscreant child, though the illusion was shattered the moment she opened her mouth. "Adults are like totally dense. That's SO not what I meant."

Sam waited patiently for further enlightenment. Her patience was not rewarded. When no explanation appeared to be forthcoming, she chewed her lower lip in thought, as though it would somehow help her grey cells function more efficiently. It didn't. She still had absolutely no idea why the girl was so worked up. They hadn't even celebrated the holiday yet, so she wasn't quite sure how she could have ruined it. Maybe Cass had wanted pumpkin pie for breakfast and was mad that she had to wait for it. Or maybe – in honor of the holiday's origins – she'd wanted them to dress up as turkeys or pilgrims or something.

Thankfully, she was saved from further – even sillier – speculation when Janet Fraiser walked into the kitchen. The brunette took up a position behind her adopted daughter, placing her hands on Cassandra's shoulders. It wasn't immediately clear to Sam whether the gesture was intended to support the girl … or to restrain her.

"Cassandra, you know perfectly well that's not fair. You know it's not Sam's fault."

The words didn't seem to mollify the teen, but Sam at least felt vindicated. She still didn't understand the charges against her, but she felt better about her relative guilt to innocence ratio. She flashed Janet a grateful smile, then set about satisfying her curiosity, suddenly understanding the old saying about cats all too well. "So … what's going on? What did I do?"

Cassie squirmed away from Janet's restraining hands and pulled away from her foster mother. Still in lecture mode, the girl elaborated, "Jack and Daniel and Teal'c aren't coming over for dinner."

Well, it certainly wasn't the best news Sam had ever heard, but it was light-years away from the worst. And it still didn't quite explain Cassandra's mood. But Carter decided to focus on the immediacy of the revelation … and its implications. She spared a glance at the counter, piled high with enough food to feed all of Luxembourg, and asked clumsily, "They aren't?"

Cassandra flashed her a glare, tinged with a touch of triumph at proving her point. "No, they're not. They're having their own dinner, without us. You've ruined the holiday." A pout settled resolutely on the youthful face.

Several seconds later, Janet interjected a warning "Cassandra," by which time the point had been made, the damage done. It was another victory for the forces of delayed reactions.

Sam knit her brows, still quite thoroughly confused. Other than learning that she was to blame for current events, she still had no idea why it was all her fault. Deciding that maybe a direct approach might be the best, she shot off a series of questions, saving the best for last. "Why aren't they coming over? Don't we usually spend holidays together when we aren't working? And why is it my fault?"

Cassie rolled her eyes, clearly annoyed that Sam had yet to read her mind. Answering the last question first, she snapped, "Because you told them you were cooking dinner and they know you can't cook."

At the same time, Janet – who was clearly getting annoyed with the teen – caught Sam's eye and countered emphatically, "It's not your fault."

Sam shook her head in bewilderment. She'd clung to the hope that hearing the charges would clarify why she was to blame, but unfortunately, it hadn't done anything other than further confuse her. It really wasn't shaping up to be her day. She blurted out the first thing that came to mind, which was, "Why is everyone so convinced that I'm a bad cook?"

Once again, the teen's mouth was in motion before Janet could voice a protest. Clearly, what the young lacked in experience, they made up for in speed. Cass sighed with long-suffering patience, "Because you told that warlord Turban guy that you were a lousy cook. That's what Jack said you told him." Left unsaid, but echoing clearly through the room nonetheless, was the insinuation that O'Neill's word was gospel. Never mind the fact that Sam had actually been a first hand witness to the referenced event.

Sam offered her own long-suffering sigh. Exchanging a glance with Janet, she noted the furrowed auburn brows, a definite sign that the other woman shared her feelings. Carter managed to let only the faintest trace of exasperation escape as she said, "First of all, it was Turghan, not Turban. A turban is a type of headdress, not a flea-ridden, obnoxious warlord. And secondly, has it ever occurred to anyone that maybe I was just saying that to convince him that I wasn't a good … um … 'trade'?" She could not hide the utter disgust in her tone at the way it felt to be treated like property. Even years after the incident, it still had the power to raise her blood pressure to alarmingly high levels.

Janet moved closer to Sam, laying a hand on the taller woman's arm in a gesture of support. Nodding vigorously, the doctor added, "I still can't believe anyone took that statement at face value." Granted, it had been a while since she'd been in the field rather than the infirmary. But she distinctly remembered the concept of not giving your enemy anything that he, she, or it could use against you.

The look on Cass' face was the opposite of convinced. In fact, it took skepticism to whole new levels. Always quick with a retort, a charming trait she'd picked up from many of the significant adults in her life, she shot back, "Then why do you always buy take-out? And why does Janet always cook whenever you come over here?"

Surprised by the vehement argument over such a minor issue, Sam stood dumbfounded, half wishing she was in the middle of something simple like a Goa'uld attack. At least there she'd have some idea what she should be doing. But dealing with the many moods of Cassandra Fraiser was way out of her league.

Janet moved away from Sam and stepped closer to her daughter, the look on her face showing clearly that she just wasn't seeing the point of the pointless bickering. She didn't actually raise her voice, but her tone was sharp as aged cheddar. "Maybe she buys take-out because she's too tired to cook after working 18 hours a day. And maybe she doesn't cook when she comes over because it's my kitchen and I'm the one who knows where everything is." She accentuated her next words with a pointing finger. "And you know perfectly well why they aren't coming over … and you know perfectly well it has nothing to do with Sam's ability to cook … or lack thereof." She glanced at Sam again, finally giving the blonde the explanation that had so far eluded her. "The colonel wrenched his knee and is in a fair amount of pain. So Daniel and Teal'c decided it would be for the best if they went over to his house and spent the day with him there."

Sam murmured an understanding "Ah." Then it suddenly occurred to her that that still didn't explain why they weren't spending the holiday together. After all, while it would be a bit of an inconvenience to load all the food into the car and then have to unpack it all and reheat it and all that sort of thing, it certainly wouldn't be impossible. Actually, given the types of things the team usually found itself doing, it would be the height of simplicity.

Before Carter could inquire about that, Janet continued to lecture her daughter, fond exasperation in her tone. "Besides, young lady, Sam hasn't exactly been doing all the cooking. Just what do you think I've been doing all morning?" A suitably chastised look crossed the girl's face.

Janet's tone gentled at the obvious repentance and she turned back to face Sam as she continued the explanation. "The fact is that the guys just really want to spend the whole day watching football. They know from experience that I don't care for sports, and would rather spend the time together … well … together, rather than with half of the group staring at a screen. They were looking for a way to gracefully get out of coming over here; the colonel hurting himself was simply the best excuse they could come up with on short notice."

Sam couldn't hold back a snicker at that. As dearly as she loved her teammates, she knew all too well that they were not the most imaginative in the excuse department. The colonel could think fast under pressure when he was in the field, but the skill eluded him if it didn't involve guns and enemies and the threat of imminent death. Daniel had the imagination, but was an even worse liar than she herself was. And while Teal'c could lie with a straight face, he didn't see the necessity of it in a situation like this, so basically refused to do it.

The explanation did nothing to help Cassie's mood. She continued to mope, casting a dark glower across the room. "But I NEVER get to see them. Sam's always here so I see her lots, but they hardly ever come to see me. And I like football too!" There was a definite whine in the last words, and both Sam and Janet winced at the grating sound of it. They conveniently forgot to mention moments like these in the "So You Want To Be A Parent" manual. Of course if they did, it might significantly help decrease the worldwide population, surpassing even the goals of the Zero Population Growth advocates.

Janet, politely ignoring the fact that her daughter had actually seen all three men three times in the past three weeks, spoke in a calm, measured tone. Only the faintest crease of her brows showed what an effort she was making to keep up the façade. "Well, Cassandra, if it simply ruins your holiday to have to stay here with me and Sam, why don't you call the colonel and ask him if you can go over and watch football with them." She heard the faint touch of sarcasm in her words, and looked up at Sam to see that the other woman had picked up on it as well. Ah well, she had a reputation to uphold … namely that her retorts were as sharp as her ubiquitous needles.

The teen seemed oblivious to the sarcastic undertones, or else she was so used to them that they didn't even register any more. Cassie's response came in the form of racing out of the kitchen, presumably on a direct path to the phone.

Sam sighed and shot an apologetic glance at Janet, then knelt down with a roll of paper towels in hand. She started herding the mushy little berries into a slimy pile, and said softly, "I'm sorry about the mess, Janet. Cass completely startled me." That was an understatement if she'd ever heard one, but it was about the only statement she could come up with that didn't include an expletive. Not that she was shy about swearing; you couldn't work with Colonel O'Neill for long and not acquire a more-than-adequate supply of swear words. She just was trying to wean herself from the habit.

Janet knelt next to her friend and lover, lending her own hands to the cleanup process. She absolved Sam from guilt with the suitably dry, "It's really not a problem. Her Highness has a knack these days for creating excitement." She paused, reflecting that maybe she should have substituted "drama" for "excitement, but then decided it didn't matter. After all, Carter was a highly trained astrophysicist, not a semanticist.

And as expected, Sam didn't even notice the perhaps imperfect phrasing. Instead, the blonde sputtered with laughter. Janet raised an eyebrow, though she wasn't surprised at the reaction. When she continued speaking, her tone remained dry as unbuttered toast. "The only thing I find remotely encouraging about her newly discovered sense of melodrama is that it shows she's recovered remarkably well from her past traumas." That was certainly true enough; when Cassandra first arrived on Earth, the girl had been so polite and withdrawn and deferential that it had almost been impossible to deal with her.

And as if she sensed they'd been talking about her, Cass flew through the kitchen doorway. Ok, so she didn't exactly fly, but she moved quickly enough to maintain that optical illusion. The girl skidded to a stop, cordless phone in hand, and somehow managed to avoid actually treading on any of the far-reaching cranberries. That last showed either her remarkable luck or her remarkable hand-eye-foot coordination.

Cass – apparently under the impression that the two women had somehow suffered profound hearing loss during the brief time she'd been out of their presence – announced loudly, "Jack says that I'm welcome to come over and that I can spend the whole four day weekend with them. But he says he needs to check with you first." The barely disguised irritation in her voice made her feelings quite clear on the need to get permission aspect of things.

Janet reached out a red-stained hand for the phone, chastising quietly, "There's no need to yell; I'm only three inches away from you." An expressive teenage eye roll greeted that statement and the doctor squashed the urge to mimic the gesture. Somehow, she doubted that such an obvious display of sarcasm would do anything to help her parental situation.

Sam continued cleaning up the floor as Janet had a brief conversation with O'Neill. At least it was brief on her part, consisting mainly of her repeating "yes, sir", "uh-huh", and "if it's no trouble". It almost sounded like a broken record was playing. Cassie, meanwhile, seemed oblivious to the exchange, dancing around in her sock feet as if going over to the colonel's was already a fait accompli. Amazingly, she still didn't step on any of the few lingering berries.

Janet offered a barely audible sigh as she hung up the phone. Still kneeling on the floor as she looked up at her daughter, she mused that the position wasn't the most conducive to showing her parental control. Then again, considering that Cassandra towered over her by a few inches, looking up at the girl wasn't anything particularly new. She stifled a martyred sigh and said, "It's ok, Cass; you can spend the weekend over at the colonel's. He said you could stay in the guest bedroom … he'll just make Daniel and Teal'c sleep on the floor."

Janet glanced down at her watch then looked back up at her daughter. "Daniel will be over in forty minutes to pick you up, so you'd better get your things packed." In an attempt to be a good mother, she didn't add the sarcastic reminder that it routinely took the girl an hour to just get ready to go to the grocery store for a gallon of milk. On the spur of the moment, she decided to send her own mother a bouquet of flowers; she suddenly appreciated just how hard she'd made things for her own parents when she was that age. It truly was a good thing that parents loved their children, otherwise there would be few who survived into adulthood.

The human whirlwind barely seemed to register the words as she blew out of the kitchen. Sam, who had been industriously cleaning throughout the entire conversation, pushed to her feet as the last of the berries were finally present and accounted for. She threw the lumpy, soggy mess of cranberried paper towels into the trash, washed her hands, and inquired eloquently of Janet, "So?"

The brunette shouldered Sam out of the way, shoving her own stained hands under the warm running water. Janet didn't even try to disguise her exasperation. "The colonel is smirking at me again." A martyred sigh came up from her chest, and this time she didn't try to hide it. "He and Daniel think it's HYSTERICAL that Cassandra's turned into the teen from hell. As far as they're concerned, she's a DELIGHT to be around. She's always so helpful and obedient … polite and cheerful. Of course the guys never have ANY trouble with her."

Sam actually winced at the sharp edge in her lover's voice. Unfortunately, she knew the choice of word emphasis in Janet's sentences wasn't just exasperation at work … she could clearly imagine Jack O'Neill saying those exact things. Subtlety was not something the man had a talent for. Smirking, however, was a category in which he could win a gold medal.

Circling around behind Janet, Sam settled her hands lightly on tense shoulders and began a very gentle massage. Knowing that the other woman wasn't in the mood for empty platitudes (actually, she was never in the mood for meaningless reassurances, come to think of it), she said softly, "You know she's still got a serious case of hero worship with those three. That's why she hangs on every word they say. Because you're her foster mom and I play parent when I'm around, she's past the point of thinking we've hung the stars. She tunes us out because she's gotten used to us." She couldn't help her automatic instinct to provide reassurance – empty or not – as she murmured, "She'll grow out of it, Janet. It'll all be fine."

Janet felt safe to roll her eyes at the last phrase, since she knew perfectly well Sam couldn't see the gesture. In spite of herself, the words did make her feel better, and she mustered up a smile. Leaning back against Sam, she said softly, "I know. It's just that the colonel is so … so … damn smug about it. They all are, even Teal'c." She tried and failed to keep the hurt out of her voice. "They think it's great that she'd rather spend time with them than with us." Her hurt wasn't at Cassandra's choice of companions; it was with the companions who acted like they were competing for Cassandra. After all, it wasn't the guys who were there at three in the morning when the girl had stomach flu, or who had to rearrange their entire lives to fit in the needs of an emotionally scarred alien child. They just dropped by when they felt like it and missed all the hard parts.

Sam felt the tension flooding the woman in her arms, and searched for something – anything – to lighten the mood. She was all too aware of what dark alleyways Janet's thoughts could be going down. She pressed a light kiss to a soft earlobe and lowered her voice, trying to sound as conspiratorial as possible. Not that she had an innate knack for that, since she couldn't even lie with a straight face, but she tried nonetheless. "Well, this will be the longest period of time they've spent with her since her initial arrival on Earth. We'll let them deal with her all weekend and see how smug they are by Sunday night."

The tone of voice fell completely short of suggesting a conspiracy, malicious thoughts, or even a simple childish prank. Instead, Sam sounded as innocent as a newborn lamb … though whether lambs were inherently any more innocent than other varieties of baby farm animals was a question best left unasked. Janet managed an evil laugh anyhow, knowing what the other woman had been trying to do, and letting her own tendency towards fiendishness balance out her lover's absolute ineptitude in that department. It would be an interesting test, since in the past two years none of the men had spent more than four hours with the teen. Four days ought to prove interesting.

Sam, hearing the laugh and assuming she'd actually managed her goal of being conspiratorial, turned her attention to something that came far more naturally. She kissed Janet's ear again and whispered gently, "Besides, I have to admit that I like the idea of actually having some time alone. It's been far too long."

Now that was something with which Janet agreed wholeheartedly. She couldn't even remember the last time she and her lover had actually had more than an hour completely to themselves. It was enough to make her wonder if she'd done something particularly heinous in one of her past lives, since her luck in the romance department seemed tainted by some kind of Murphy's Law. Then again, maybe it was Sam's bad karma. At any rate, the idea sounded incredibly good. "Mmmm," she managed to murmur, "you have no idea how much I'd enjoy that."

A soft laugh greeted that declaration. "Oh, I don't know about that, Janet. I think I might have some idea how much you'd enjoy that."

Janet pulled neatly out of her lover's embrace and swatted her playfully on the arm, ignoring Sam's mock yelp of pain. At least she thought it was a fake cry; she didn't hit that hard. At least not usually. Putting on her best stern face, she threatened, "Hmm … you're going to pay for making fun of me like that." She lowered her voice to a soft whisper. "I might even need to spank you."

The blue eyes widened and Sam felt a sudden rush of warmth run through her body at the seductive statement. Ok, so it wasn't exactly the dictionary definition of seductive. But then again, Sam wasn't exactly a dictionary type of woman. She spent so much time with her head up above the clouds that she needed some intensity in lovemaking to bring her fully into the present moment. That need hadn't been met with any of her past lovers; they made the mistake of thinking that intensity and domination were the same thing. Janet, however, didn't.

Janet smiled as she drank in her lover's reaction. There were incredible layers of passion hidden under Samantha Carter's task-oriented, science-oriented, fact-oriented persona. And she thoroughly enjoyed finding each and every one of those layers. It was like her very own private treasure hunt.

Sam returned the smile, vaguely aware that she must be blushing because her cheeks felt warm. She was rapidly becoming very glad that the team wasn't going to be spending the holiday together. That thought suddenly kick-started her momentarily lust-stalled brain and she was reminded that Cass hadn't exactly left the house yet. The reminder caused her to pull her attention back to the very immediate, and she gestured obliquely at the counter behind them. "Well, if the guys aren't coming over for dinner, what in the world are we going to do with all this food? I don't think there's enough space in the fridge to even store half of it."

The shift in mood wasn't too surprising to the doctor, since a sudden, loud burst of Sublime's "Doing Time" made it all too clear that Cassandra was still in the house. It was the teen's unique way of ensuring that people never forgot her presence, as if being out of sight automatically made her out of mind as well. Janet shook her head and rolled her eyes, wondering for the millionth time why some people in the world insisted on playing mediocre music at high volume. She stepped towards the doorway, planning to go remind the teen that not everyone within a ten-mile radius enjoyed that particular type of music – her foster mother included. Right as she moved, the music dropped down to a more bearable level.

Sam couldn't resist a chuckle. "I wish I knew how you did that," she murmured softly.

Janet smiled up at her friend. "Can't tell you," she teased, "it's a trade secret." She stepped away from Sam and surveyed the food-laden counter, frowning as she realized for the first time just how much food they had. Apparently in the midst of their menu planning, the concept of moderation had been lost in translation. Either that, or they'd thought they were feeding the entire air force. "Well," she said slowly, "my vote would be that we take a little bit for ourselves and ship the rest over to the colonel's." She laughed suddenly. "The colonel was even hinting about that, saying that there wasn't a lot of food at his house so they were going to have to order a pizza later." She sighed dramatically in imitation of the man. "Assuming, of course, that they can find a place that's open on the holiday."

Sam snorted with laughter. "I can just hear him now, doing his best 'woe is me' impersonation."

Janet rolled her eyes, not bothering to confirm the all-too-accurate description. O'Neill had been taking lessons from Daniel in how to appear puppy-doggish. It was actually kinda cute, though she would never admit that to anyone. Well, maybe to Sam.

A loud crash and Cassandra's shouted, "Nothing broke!" shook Janet out of her musing. "I suppose I should go see how Her Highness is doing," she said. Sam nodded in understanding and moved towards the counter, mathematically working out the best formula for packing the food in the most efficient manner possible. Another crash made both women wince.

"Were we ever really that young?" Sam asked rhetorically as Janet raced out the door in search of her daughter.

"Would you stop that?" Sam swatted Janet's hands away and concentrated on not dropping her wine glass. Her entreaty went unheeded and she was forced to set her glass on the carpet and defend herself. "I mean it, Janet; stop tickling me!"

The woman in question just offered her best Cheshire cat grin and continued running her fingers lightly over the ticklish spots on her lover's abdomen. Since Sam was sitting on the floor in front of the fire and Janet was essentially sitting in her lap, the blonde was basically trapped. And the doctor wasted no time in taking advantage of the situation. She had no intention of pushing it too far, knowing that Sam was one of those people for whom tickling could turn into torture. She just was enjoying the way her lover was giggling and squirming beneath her.

Janet batted her lover's defending hands away with one hand, using the other to gently attack a newly exposed vulnerable area. As a doctor, she knew clinically which areas of the human body were particularly responsive. As Sam's lover, she knew intimately which areas of the other woman's body were extremely sensitive. She had an unfair advantage, and she knew it. She just didn't happen to care.

Sam panted for breath through her giggles, writhing almost helplessly under her lover's attack. She couldn't quite manage to grab hold of the tormenting hands, too busy trying to fend them off. Finally, she managed to trap Janet's hands and rolled over, taking the brunette with her. She placed the other woman gently on her back and straddled her, trapping her hands above her head. Oddly, Janet didn't seem too bothered by her unaccustomed position.

"Now … will you stop?" Sam asked, her breath coming hard. It had been a long time since they'd ended up in an impromptu wrestling match and she was surprised at how much energy it took. Good thing the Goa'uld had never heard of the concept of tickle fights. "Do you give up?" she asked, not willing to release her grip on the fiendish hands until she was sure Janet was going to stop molesting her. Well, molesting her in a bad way, she amended to herself.

Janet offered a dramatic sigh. She had no intention of continuing the tickle match, but she absolutely hated giving in. Stubbornness tended to run in her family. She sighed again and the melodrama in her tone showed that Cassie's proficiency with that particular trait was partly an acquired skill. "I don't exactly have a lot of choice. I have to acquiesce if I want to extricate myself from this situation." She sighed yet again, showing that she subscribed to the "third time's the charm" school of thought.

Sam laughed and released her hold on her lover's wrists, though she didn't bother to move off of the other woman. She leaned down and captured Janet's lips in a slow, sweet kiss. Sighing in contentment, she pulled away and said softly, "This is one of the many reasons I love you, Janet Fraiser. I've always been attracted to women with big vocabularies."

Moving almost as quickly as the speed of thought (which, of course, varies from person to person), Janet arched up and pushed back. Due to the element of surprise, she managed to throw her lover off of her and roll her over onto her back. She straddled the taller woman, pinning her hands above in her head, holding Sam in the position she'd been in just moments before. She'd had the blonde in this position many times before and knew just how to balance her weight to keep the woman held securely.

There was a wicked gleam in brown eyes as Janet commented thoughtfully, "You'll notice I never actually surrendered."

Sam shivered slightly at the erotic promises glimmering in her lover's eyes. "Semantics," she murmured softly. Was it getting hot in here, or was she just imagining things? "Um," she managed eloquently. There was a snicker from the woman above her and she felt Janet's sock-clad foot caressing her outer thigh. It was definitely getting hot … apparently global warming had come all at once to Janet Fraiser's living room. She tried again. "Um …" Success in speaking seemed to be a suddenly elusive goal.

Janet leaned down, her hands tightening on her lover's trapped wrists, her lips brushing softly against the blonde's. She felt Sam's mouth open under her touch and she gently traced the outline of full lips with the tip of her tongue. "Mmmm," she exhaled before deepening the kiss, her tongue slowly – luxuriously – exploring the warm wetness of her lover's mouth. She only pulled away when the need for oxygen became imperative. Using her thumbs to caress her lover's trapped wrists, Janet whispered, "Do you surrender to me?"

Sam still couldn't master the simple art of language; she simply inhaled sharply and nodded.

"I want you to lie still and let me undress you," Janet commanded gently. She felt her heart beat faster at the absolute trust and love shining in Sam's expressive eyes. Releasing her hold on her lover's wrists, she trailed her hands down the curve of the woman's arms, then down the sides of her body. It didn't surprise her that the other woman left her hands above her head. Despite her occasional moments of insubordination, Sam could be very obedient when the mood struck her.

Sam felt herself shiver slightly as Janet's hands traced the contours of her body. It had been far too long since they'd had the time to themselves to just play and explore each other. She felt her lover slowly and deliberately removing her clothing, and a blush rose to her cheeks. Even after all this time, she felt embarrassed about being naked in front of Janet. She was all too conscious of her scars, of her various imperfections.

When she saw the flush of pink rise in the blonde's face, Janet knew exactly where her lover's thoughts had gone. She finished unclasping Sam's bra, moving the fabric away from the woman's body, and then lightly traced over the newly revealed flesh. Leaning down, she gently kissed the warm skin. "You're beautiful to me, Sam. I don't want you to be perfect. Perfection is boring."

That earned a soft, nervous laugh from the blonde. Unable to resist the opening she'd been given, Sam actually managed to formulate a complete sentence. "Well then, you've definitely come to the right person. I'm pretty flawed."

Janet raised a wry eyebrow at that, unbuttoning her lover's jeans as she commented. "It's a miracle. She speaks." She heard a gasp as she tucked her fingers in the edges of the denim fabric and the softer cotton of the woman's underwear and tugged the garments down over narrow hips. But she ignored it in favor of continuing the conversation. As far as she was concerned, words were one of the most powerful aphrodisiacs on the planet. "I know I've come to the right person." She pressed a kiss to Sam's newly bared hip, her fingers working the jeans down her lover's long legs. "There's no one in the world I'd rather be with, Sam."

Sam shivered hard with arousal as the dexterous fingers slid down her body. Within moments, she was completely bared to the hungry eyes of her lover. It made her feel uncomfortably vulnerable, considering that Janet was somewhat overdressed for the occasion, but it was also arousing as hell to have her fully clothed lover caressing her. She was pretty sure she didn't want to know what a Freudian would make of that.

She still didn't move, letting Janet set the pace, knowing that it thoroughly aroused her lover to be in control during their lovemaking. Sam groaned, feeling heat and need building in her veins as sharp teeth bit down on an extremely sensitive spot on her breast. "God, Janet," she breathed sharply. "You're amazing." She groaned again as a harder, longer bite in the same spot sent a surge of warmth flooding through her body. It never ceased to amaze her that Janet could give her the type of intensity she craved without trying to demean her in the process. That had been the problem in past relationships; they'd wanted to control her outside of the bedroom.

Sam gasped slightly as she felt Janet's slick tongue glide across her stomach and she was suddenly aware of just how much she loved this amazing, intelligent, talented woman. "Do you have any idea," she said softly, "how grateful I am that you're a part of my life? You're everything I've ever wanted in a partner."

Janet felt her heart melting at the love and sincerity threaded through the softly spoken words. She still couldn't believe the luck that had caused her path to cross with Samantha Carter's. She whispered against soft skin, "Well, sweetheart, you aren't the only one. I'm pretty damn thankful to have you in my life. You're a wonderful person … and everything I could have wanted." She reached up, caressing Sam's cheek with her fingertips, smiling softly as she felt the blush-warmed skin. The blonde's reaction to compliments was incredibly cute.

Squirming slightly in embarrassment at the kind comments, Sam tried to find a way to divert the attention off of her. "Well," she started, her voice husky with the arousal burning in her blood, "I guess we've found an appropriate way to celebrate the holiday … our own little ritual of giving thanks."

Janet shook her head at the forced pun. While it was true that she adored wordplay as a form of foreplay, this was a bit beyond the pale. She stretched up and dropped a kiss in the hollow of Sam's throat, murmuring, "Oh, that was bad. Quick, but bad."

The blonde chuckled. "Do I get any points for being quick?"

A sharp nip in a sensitive spot answered that question. It was an affirmative answer. Janet grinned as her lover arched up in response, her breathing heavy. "All the points you can handle," she promised in a low, sensual growl. She let her hand slide down to caress the smooth skin of Sam's stomach, just barely dusting low enough to make the woman whimper with need. "In fact," she continued, her hand teasing her lover, "you deserve to be rewarded."

She saw the questioning look in the lust glazed blue eyes and laughed softly. "Well, m'dear, I know Cassandra thinks you've ruined the holiday, but I happen to think you've made it perfect. You deserve a reward for ruining things for everyone else."

Sam groaned, but this time it wasn't from arousal. "I think that was worse than what I said," she complained softly. Given that Janet was the queen of sarcasm and repartee at the SGC, it wasn't often that she said something quite so … so … bad. Seeing the wicked gleam in her lover's chocolate brown eyes, she hastily added, "Not that I mind the idea of some accolades."

A quick slap against her buttock made Sam quiver. She felt a surge of warmth rush through her, and whimpered softly as Janet's hand rubbed lightly over the red mark she'd made. It hadn't been hard enough to really hurt, but there was something incredibly erotic about feeling the sting and having a gentle hand soothing away the discomfort. It was definitely intense.

Janet pressed a kiss to the underside of Sam's breast and then kissed her way up to capture her lover's lips. "I love it when you use those big words … makes me feel all fizzy and carbonated inside," the brunette murmured, nipping lightly at the blonde's lower lip. "And don't worry, you'll definitely get your reward," she whispered, her voice throbbing with arousal. "Happy Thanksgiving, love."

Sam managed to reciprocate with a "Happy Thanksgiving" before Janet's lips, teeth, and hands once again made coherent speech impossible.

The End

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